Sounds illogical, right. How can you eat more and yet, lose more? This is a very common occurrence through and working with people through the years I’ve noticed it’s been something that always blows people’s minds. However there are no tricks or magical fat burning foods, it simply comes down to selective dismissal.
I am going to offer you an example and then illustrate this in a pretty chart.
You want to lose weight, so the first thing you do is either start a new “diet”, which by the way is just calorie restriction, or you significantly reduce calories… again calorie restriction.
Monday – Friday you are on point with your new calorie allowance of 1000 but on Friday afternoon, when the rest of your co-workers are pulling out the orders for “fat Friday”, you succumb to temptation because you’ve been hungry and irritable… boom! You consume an additional 1000 calories without even realising.
Because it has been a stressful week, mainly due to the fact your energy has been low because of the severe calorie restriction, you decide to end the week with celebratory drink(s). This spills over in to Saturday, and because you have been good all week, you reward yourself with a takeaway and maybe a few more cheeky drinks. This leads to an additional 3500-4000 calories.
Sunday comes around and because your weekly breakfast was far from a full English, that’s finally on the menu because you’ve deserved it. Aunt Bessie then calls and invites everyone around to indulge in her butter laden mashed potato and jam roly-poly Sunday dinner… and before you know it, another additional 4000 calories have been consumed.
Instead of a weekly total of 10,500 calories (1500 per day) you consumed 16,500 calories.
However, it doesn’t end there. Due to the higher weekend calories binge lethargy creeps in and NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis) goes down.
Essentially you eat more and move less!
I then ask you to bring a three day food diary in but your recorded days are between Monday & Thursday because these are the good days. This is not (all of the time) intentional. It’s more so that the weekend wasn’t consciously registered. The two glasses of wine was actually two bottles… you get my point.
Weight hasn’t changed much and if anything it has increased. We then decide to increase calories from 1500 to 2000 per day. Surly that seems at first to make no sense because you will be eating more, right.
Because of the increase in “daily” calories it leads to a few things:
- You feel more satiated and full during the week
- You have wiggle room to pencil in “treats”
- Because of the above mentioned, the need to binge over the weekend wanes and you become more mindful of the foods you consume. Suddenly you are able to say no to Aunt Bessie’s dessert!
Not only have you reduced weekly calorie intake (15000) but lethargy is significantly reduced and your NEAT increase. Friday and Saturday is a little over but due to the increase in activity this is accounted for. We are all human and can’t be perfect all of the time.
Essentially you eat less and move more!
This is a very common occurrence with most people being very skeptical when we increase their daily calorie intake.
Take home message:
If you believe you are in a calorie deficit but your weight isn’t shifting or your body shape isn’t changing, sit down and take a close and honest look at your lifestyle and identify patterns, as exampled above. It’s very easy to consume unaccounted for calories without even realizing.
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